Cockroach Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Cockroach
  • Common Name: Cockroach
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Superorder: Dictyoptera
  • Order: Blattodea
  • Total Species: 4,600+

18 Cockroach Facts for Kids

  1. A cockroach is an insect.
  2. Cockroaches are members of the Blattodea order.
  3. Cockroaches can be found worldwide, especially any location humans have successfully colonized.
  4. There are about 4,600 known species of cockroaches worldwide.
  5. About 30 of the 4,600 known cockroach species are common in human habitats.
  6. Cockroaches can be as small as half an inch and the larger cockroach species can reach almost two inches in length.
  7. Cockroaches can live between a few months and a couple of years, varying by species.
  8. Cockroaches will eat just about anything, both in the wild and in manmade structures.
  9. Some species of cockroaches only need to mate once and then the female can lay eggs for her entire adult lifespan.
  10. Out of the 30 cockroach species found in and around human habitats, four of them are considered pests. They are the American cockroach, Brownbanded cockroach, German cockroach and the Orential cockroach.
  11. Cockroaches can spread disease and bacteria that can affect humans.
  12. A cockroach can hold its breath for up to 40 minutes, allowing them to even survive when submerged in water.
  13. Cockroaches are fast for their small size, they can run up to three miles per hour.
  14. Some species of cockroaches can make noises that a human can hear. An example is the Madagascar hissing cockroach, which can make a distinct hissing sound.
  15. A cockroach can survive for up to one month without food.
  16. A cockroach can survive for up to one week without its head. This is because they breathe through holes in their body. They die because they can’t consume any food or water.
  17. Some species of cockroaches can tolerate extreme temperatures. This allows them to be found in extremely cold climates, even in the Artic. It’s become recorded that some species can survive temperatures as low as -188 degrees Fahrenheit.
  18. A common myth is cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast and radiation fallout. While cockroaches can withstand up to 10 times more radiation than a human, they wouldn’t be able to survive a nuclear blast and the fallout from one.

Additional Resources on Cockroaches

  • Cockroaches – Discover more facts and information about cockroaches on the University of Minnesota website.
  • Cockroach – Wikipedia – Find more cockroach facts on the Wikipedia website.
  • Cockroach Management – Find out how to control and eliminate cockroaches on the University of California website.
  • How to Identify Cockroaches – An excellent guide by Terminix that explains how you can identify common cockroaches.